Daily Archives: August 5, 2004

Good Things

Hmm, says I while answering loads of e-mail. Hmm, there are rumblings in my tummy.

So I got up and made parmesan-chive biscuits. And now the house smells absolutely delicious. They taste even better, though. Oh gods, they are completely divine, and very grown-up (although any fears of adulthood will be banished once you realise that you’ve gobbled down six in a sitting). Parmesan-chive biscuits are definitely Good Things.

Aren’t I just the regular Martha Stewart. Except not a criminal. Which is also A Good Thing.

Later: To assuage Ceri’s cravings and to save my door from being kicked in, here the recipe. It was originally the basic biscuit recipe from the Joy of Cooking.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

– approx 2 cups sifted flour (that means about two tablespoons less if you’re not going to sift it, which is fine, because you’ll need those 2 tbsp to sprinkle your kneading area, so scoop out the spoonfuls and throw them on your clean counter)
– pinch of salt
– 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
– 3 tsp baking powder
– approx 1/3 cup shortening or butter (or half of one, half of the other)
– 1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (use a coarse grater)
– 2 tbsp dried chives or green onions (fresh is okay too, but I used dried because it’s what I had on hand)
– 3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sift flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together. If you’re going to cheat and not sift it, make sure you remove the two tablespoons of flour before you add the other dry ingredients. Blend well. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Add the slice of shortening and/or butter. Use a pastry cutter to cut it in, or two forks, or two knives, or hey, your fingers. (You’ve already thrown flour on your clean countertop, and your hands will get sticky later when you knead it, so why not?) Cut it in until it resembles little pea shapes of butter and flour.

Make a well in the center and pour in all the milk at once. Stir carefully till you won’t throw flour and milk all over the kitchen, then stir vigorously till incorporated. The key to good biscuits is to NOT OVERSTIR.

Turn the dough out onto the counter and gather it into a ball. Then flatten it, turn it, fold it, turn it again, etc. Do this only about nine times. Folding it and then flattening it is what gives the biscuits the flakiness. Roll or pat out to between 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Use a round cookie cutter to cut out rounds of 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Don’t twist the cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Gather scraps, reroll, cut again.

Bake for about nine minutes, or until lightly browned. The cheese and chives sometimes give a bit of a burning smell if they’re directly touching the metal as they bake; it’s not the biscuits themselves, don’t worry. Check anyway. Overbaking these is a crime.

Remove from oven. You can cool them on a wire rack, but mine cool on the sheet just fine. Store in an airtight container, unless you’re going to eat them all, which is entirely possible. Serve with butter. (I was thinking of making sage butter, because then I would be in absolute heaven.)